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Minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 16th July 2002

In the Queen’s Room, Melvin Hall at 7.30pm


1. Present: Bob Davidson (Chair); Sam Andrew; Dick Reville; Jenny Wagstaff; Donny Chisholm; Ros Deane

Also present: Councillor Paul Johnston; Tamsin Morris (Ythan Project); Anna Robertson (Ellon Times); Alison Leith (Ellon Advertiser)

Apologies: Linda Mackie; Gordon Brown; John Thomson; Ian Massie


2.Ythan Project

Tamsin Morris, Project Officer, explained what the Project is about.


The project came about as a result of local responses to the potential designation of the catchment of the Ythan as a Nitrate Vulnerable Zone. The Formartine Partnership collected ideas from local people on how they would like to see the catchment improved in the future, and the project was launched in May 2000. 50% of the cost is funded by the European Commission’s Life Environment Fund, with the rest made up from other agencies.

Project Aims

The key aim is to involve local people, and encourage them to take part in river restoration work; promotion of nutrient budgeting on farms, and encouraging farmers to keep uncropped strips along the watercourses.

River Restoration

This aims to improve the river as a habitat for wildlife, and to increase its use as an amenity in the area. Local anglers were asked which sites they thought were most in need of attention, and they highlighted Youlie Burn and Kelly Burn.

Youlie Burn

This is a spawning bed for sea trout, but in recent years the gravel has silted up, so the fish can no longer spawn. Free running gravel is to be placed in the burn, with larger rocks to stop it being swept away. Volunteers will help with this. The work will be carried out in late August/September, as the trout spawn in October.

Kelly Burn

This is a riverside woodland site. A spruce wood is being taken out to allow broadleaved saplings to generate - the spruce is too dark, and its roots are undermining the riverbank. In spring they hope to get local schools involved in placing deer guards around the saplings. Work will start in September/October, once all the nesting birds have gone, and before the water level gets too high.

They already have some volunteers, but will be putting details in the local press.

3.Minutes of June Meeting

Minutes proposed by Sam Andrew and seconded by Dick Reville.

4.Matters Arising

Melvin Hall Notice board - ongoing

Potholes - The one outside the church is causing particular concern, but Paul confirmed that it is on the work list to be done.

Duthie Rd/Tolquhon Ave

Bob has received an acknowledgement from the chief executive. The matter is being investigated, and we will get a response in due course, although this might take some time.

Keith Newton, Area Manager, responded likewise.

Tourism group - deferred to next meeting.

Motorbikes - no more complaints, but complaints received instead about 2 speeding cars, one in particular regularly speeding. Bob to speak to Fiona Barron, Grampian Police.

Dog signs - still on order.

BBC Scotland fundraising - deferred to next meeting.

Mill of Tolquhon - Access Officer was to be following this up. Bob to speak to John Thomson.

Dog walk - Bob to write to Kirk Session regarding the beetle bank.


Still waiting for railings. Members felt that there was perhaps more need for a skateboarding site now than there was when the survey was carried out. The best way to proceed would be for the young people themselves, and their parents, to take the initiative on this, and get a group together to try and work something out.

Braiklay Crossroads

The Roads Dept. is looking at a low cost scheme to realign the junction and re-sign it, and they should be contacting the CC shortly to discuss this.

Village Orderly

The post has been filled, and at present the orderly is working week about with Pitmedden. His supervisor is still getting a work plan together. Members thought that rather spending a whole week in the village it would be better to split it say 2/3 days a week, as in the week he is in Pitmedden, litter etc could accumulate. If any one has any comments about the work he is doing, please contact his supervisor (Sam and Dick have the contact number).

It was noted that the dog bin was overflowing, and Sam was asked to check that this was on the list of work.

TRDA - deferred to next meeting.

Buses in The Square. Paul reported that the Heritage Officer is quite happy to move the bus shelter. The PTU is willing to look at the possibility of reorganising bus stops around The Square and will contact us in due course to discuss further.

5.Barthol Chapel Matters

Ros has booked the school at Barthol Chapel for the next TCC meeting (Tuesday 20th August 2002). She is also seeing if someone else from Barthol Chapel would be willing to take her place on TCC after she resigns in September.

Bus shelter - more information next meeting.

The gullies have been cleared on the road between St. Katherine’s and Barthol Chapel up to the junction at Keithfield, to prevent flooding. If there is any more water on the road, please report this to Paul.

6.Planning Matters

Ythsie - nothing new.

Old Bakery - nothing new.

Smiddy - Plans submitted for the demolition of the existing buildings, and the building of 3 houses on the site. There was a site meeting today, and the planning officer has written to the developer regarding design issues. A copy will be sent to TCC.

Duthie Rd/ Tolquhon Ave - mention had been made in the plans of a dry stone dyke. Paul confirmed that this is now to be a stone wall, similar to the one that is already there.

Ladyleys - planning application for 6 houses. The subcommittee has responded. Concerns re: it being quite a wet site, road safety and lack of infrastructure.

Concern also expressed about vehicular access to a field at Auquorthies Croft, as it is near a blind corner, with obvious concerns regarding road safety.


Paul confirmed that the contract for the bus routes between Aberdeen, Tarves, Methlick and Fyvie was up for renewal. There is discussion between the bus companies concerned, but the council has every expectation that the current level of service will remain.


National Waste Strategy Document. A meeting is to be held on 18th July, with an extra meeting in August. Dick Reville to attend August meeting. Paul asked if the CC could put in a representation against incineration.

Consultation Paper on Chief Executive/Area Manager service - Bob to complete.

Formartine Partnership - Kelly Birnie, Development Officer would like to meet us. Bob to invite to next meeting.

Bridge of Don Community Council - inviting us to a meeting today regarding the changes to the draft Aberdeen City local plan. Further development in the area will obviously have an impact on traffic. Linda to write supporting their concerns re: traffic.

Rural Community Transport Initiative - grants are available for local schemes for community groups. The local press reps present were asked to publicise this.

Letter from local resident - expressing concerns re road signs etc. Paul already has a copy and will respond.


Judging of Scotland in Bloom - Amenities Ctte have heard nothing further since the judges came on July 1st, so it is assumed we have not made it to the next round.

A flower tub in The Square was vandalised again last week, and a spar broken on a bench in The Square.

Railings on the bridge at Sonach are in need of repair. Bob to report to Ian Rendall.

AGM to be held in September.

Minutes - Jenny asked if anyone else would be prepared to take a turn doing the minutes until a new minute secretary is appointed. To discuss next meeting.

The next meeting of the Community Council will be held at 7.30pm on Tuesday 20th August 2002 at Barthol Chapel School.

Meetings are always open to the public.